Joseph investigated the noise outside his dwelling. He found the lady Mary on the leafy ground outside his door. She had fallen from her horse. He bent to pick her up and carried her into his home. Her beauty struck him dumb, he feared to look upon her too closely, lest she wake and question his motives.
He bathed her ankle in witch hazel and bound it with dock leaves, which should reduce the swelling. He glanced all the time at the clay pot on the hearth. He heard the familiar ringing in his ears as his masters called to him. He nodded absently, the voices becoming insistent. He winced in pain shaking his head at the same time as bathing the head of the Lady on his bed.
He stood up suddenly with a growl and fetched a mallet from a chest in the corner. He chose two thorns from the clay pot on the hearth and bathed the Lady Mary's feet. If he was quick enough, she wouldn't wake and she would be changed without the agony of dying.
He held the thorn steady, it's sharp evil point rooted into her skin and he struck the head home. Her scream pierced the surrounding forest, Joseph swallowed his anguish and held the second thorn, it rooted and he struck that one home too. Her screams carried on and on, he cast aside the mallet and wept sliding down the wall of his home with his hands covering his ears
"Joseph?" Mary called. He strode through the wreckage of the Watchers settlement with a broad smile on his face. His love had not aged; indeed, she had grown more beautiful with the passing centuries. Their task here was complete. It was time to return to their masters.
"Mary, come beloved..." Joseph smiled then scowled as a loan figure with a loaded crossbow let fly the quiver into his lover's flesh. He shouted a warning but too late, the deed was done. His love lay mortally wounded on the smouldering ruins of the town house. He held Mary's hand and held out his right hand toward the young girl who had killed his life partner. The Slayer evaporated into a bright white cinder and vanished on a gust of wind.
"My love...?" He knelt amongst the rubble and tenderly cradled Mary's head. She was gone. She had given him the last of her power to slay the Slayer. He was alone once more.
The darkness gathered at the edges of his consciousness and he retreated into the shadows staring back at his love, memorising her face so that he would recognise her in the centuries to come. His tears dried on his cheeks as he faded from the scene.
"Goodbye, my lady."
I walked alongside Cathy. She was tall and confident, disciplined and dangerous the first of a new breed. She was also deeply troubled by nightmares and it was these that we discussed as we walked along.
"Joseph, I saw him again last night. The Watcher... He's strong; he has helpers all round him. I sensed no Slayer, but more of a group of Slayers... There is only one Slayer in every generation, that's right isn't it?"
"Yes, Cathy, that's right, but there is a prophecy..." I lowered my voice on the word prophecy and drew her back into the shadows of the grey corridor we traversed. I looked right and left. "A Watcher without a Slayer will bring about the fall of our masters, the Greys." My eyes locked onto her brown eyes, her eyes the reflection of Mary's.
"Joseph, do you think I'm the one?" Cathy whispered. "I saw another man, a powerful young man." She smiled as she remembered. "With green eyes and dark hair..."
I gazed at her longingly. She had that look that Mary and I shared after slaughtering a few hundred Watchers. I smiled along with her and made my decision.
"Cathy, I think he's your partner. I will make some colours for you both..." I knew it was death to manufacture coloured thorns, I paused and studied the grey floor; I had been too long here. I needed the fresh green of the forest and Mary in my arms. I wanted Cathy to be happy, and if she turned out to be a part of the prophecy, then so be it!
She crept along the silent grey corridor; endless doors broke one wall, the other held the history of the Greys behind Perspex. Joseph had sent her a message to meet him in the Thorn room at midnight.
She tapped gently on the smooth door and it opened. Joseph wore his woodsman's cloak; the hood partially covered his eyes.
"Cathy, I've made you the colours." He held them out to her, two each of silver and blue. "I have to implant the blue ones. They will lead you to your partner when I'm gone."
Cathy looked up at her mentor, tears suddenly stinging at her eyes. "You can't go Joseph, they can't kill you. You were the first!" He stroked her cheek and urged her to lie down on the steel table. He carefully loaded the thorns into the firing mechanism.
"I have no choice, Cathy. They won't let me live after this. Ready?" His question made all argument moot.
She closed her eyes and nodded her clothing disappearing as she called upon her thorns power. The machine moved fluidly and fired the new thorns into her feet. The pain was brief.
The agony of longing for a partner hit her like a hammer blow, a hunger that could not be sated until she found the man whose image was impressed on her mind. Her thorn clothed her once more and Joseph helped her to stand.
"Cathy, hide the silver ones they're for him. Go quickly before you're discovered, I can only hold the alarm for a short while."
She smiled at him. "Joseph, I pray that you find Mary on the other side."
He kissed her forehead and waited quietly for the guards to come.
One of the subordinate Greys summoned her from her slumber. She followed silently behind him into the main meeting hall. She saw Joseph in a cell at the end of the room. He looked as though he had been tortured. She looked expectantly at her masters.
"Joseph." He sighed. "After many years of faithful service, has decided to leave us. " Grey One handed Cathy a small device. "As you are the current Watcher Hunter, we wondered if you would like the honour of sending him on his way?"
Cathy held the device in her frozen hand. Joseph gazed at her through the toughened glass of his cell. His eyes held hers speaking volumes. *Release me*
She moved her finger over the button and Joseph moved away from the glass removing his hood so she could see his secret agony. The thorns he had been given when he was first chosen, had erupted from his skull and now resembled the horns of a "Dark Ages" demon.
Tears stung her eyes but she managed to smile as her heart broke in two. "My pleasure!" She stepped in front of the cell and placed her hand on the cold steel surface. She mouthed, "Go in Peace" to her friend and pressed the button. His body erupted into a pale grey mist fogging the glass.
She turned from the cell and held the Greys steady gaze..."Was there something else?" She sincerely hoped not because she needed time to grieve. The Greys had no perception of grief.
"We were hoping that you would begin to search for a new partner tonight, there is a Slayer that is giving our compatriots some vexation."
Her anger flashed to the surface, she couldn't help it. She answered back. "Perhaps, it might have been more efficient if we let Joseph deal with the Watcher, after all he might have been killed."
The subordinates muttered amongst themselves. No one ever questioned Grey One!
Grey One smiled indulgently. "Perhaps. You may have as long as you wish, bring him here in three months..."
The traffic noise ceased finally around two am. He paced restlessly. Twice he'd gotten up and gone downstairs to the Gym to lift some weights to tire himself out enough to sleep. He had the oddest feeling something was going to happen. His life was going to change he glanced in the mirror, his green eyes stared back waiting. Well, when?
He shook his head and eased some tension in his neck muscles and glancing down at his erection, he muttered "When?"
He sat up blinking in the harsh light. Sharp metallic footsteps echoed round him, his heart thumped madly in his ears as he caught the smell of warm leather on warmer skin. She walked towards him from the shadows, her long legs carrying her with ease and feral stealth, her dark hair tumbled past her shoulder and she carried a leather flail in her hand. His mouth was dry, lying back on his bed the covers arranged to cover his trembling engorged cock. She strode to the bed, whipped back the covers and looked down at him with disdain...
"What have we here?" She smiled wickedly; stroking the soft leather strips of her flail down his length. "Is it painful?" She asked in mock concern. He nodded.
"I'm sure you can take a bit more pain, hmm?" She bent over him and he arched his hips toward her; closing his eyes ready for her exquisite mouth...
He screamed as the leather bit and "kissed" his balls. Tears formed in his eyes as he tumbled off his bed, cradling his injured "pride." When finally he opened his eyes he realised it was morning and the moisture he felt on his hand wasn't blood as he had thought.
"Oh, shit..." He murmured, as he staggered to his feet and made his way to his bathroom. A tiny camera followed his movements and the woman in leather drifted from the shadows to gaze up into the all-seeing eyes of her masters.
Dominic stepped from the shower and wiped the mist from the mirror. He didn't take much notice of his reflection; he just got on with the daily chore of shaving. Once he had grown a beard but it drove him mad! He smiled suddenly. His girlfriend didn't like it much either, beard burn made it difficult to walk.
He wolfed down his breakfast and slipped on his shoes, late as usual. The boss would be cross.
"Dominic." Stephanie looked pointedly at her watch then the clock in the office they shared. He smiled at her and her heart melted, why did she have to work for a man who didn't know he was sex on legs.
"I know, I know. How many "new lambs" are there today?" He sat down behind the desk and glanced at the sheaf of application forms. Steph put a mug of coffee before him, "Thanks love. How many men have we got?" He turned them over one by one; there were a few and no one to stretch his combat muscles. He sipped his coffee and listened to an eerie metallic tapping noise... He put his mug down and looked round the room. "Steph? Do you hear that?"
She studied her boss' angled head he looked as though he was listening to something. "No, I hear nothing. Well just the usual impatient masses waiting for their instructor."
"I'm going! ... Bully!" He left the office and walked down the bright sunlit corridor.
He stopped dead in his tracks, the door to the street had opened and shut. He felt hot suddenly, footsteps echoed on the hardwood floor of the Gym. His breathing became ragged and his flesh warmed and hardened at the sound. He followed the steps, the strangers dark shadow leapt up the wall towards him and he reached out his hand to caress its cool depths.
He caught a glimpse of an arm and extended leg with each pillar the figure passed. His mouth was dry, his drink forgotten. He slowly descended the steps to the floor of the Gym; the woman approaching him was tall, lithe, and walked with supreme confidence, her eyes focussed solely on him. He swallowed when at last she stopped and smiled at him extending her leather-gloved hand.
He took her hand aware of his all over body blush; a woman had never had this effect on him before.
"Hello, my name is Cathy, are you Dominic?" He nodded. "A friend recommended your gym, would you be able to show me the ropes?"
Say something idiot! "Ropes?" Oh, the image that conjured up in his fevered mind! She smiled and he grinned back. He caressed her hand with his thumb.
Her eyes followed his caress and she found her heartbeat increasing, bringing a flush to her cheeks. He's the one, Joseph. I've found him! She stepped forward, she was not sure that he hadn't pulled her because he still held her hand. His mouth was so close to hers now, his breath disturbing the unruly curls surrounding her face.
"Well?" She murmured.
"Yes, very well thank you..." He returned.
Her smile widened... and he chuckled. "Sorry, I can show you the ropes. You seem so familiar, have we met before?"
"DOM-IN-NIC!" The screech broke the spell between them and he rolled his eyes. "Coming!"
"Cathy, would you like to sit in on a session, I'm afraid I'm late starting today..."
She drifted about the wide airy sunlit room listening to the repeated clank of the various machines. She smiled as the women all feigned innocence around Dominic. He had no clue that they had little wish to build muscle, in fact were interested only in HIS muscle.
She caught herself smiling as he tried to explain the intricacies of a nautilus machine to a particularly brain-dead specimen... He sighed as at last the woman conceded defeat and moved on to another less taxing piece of apparatus. He flopped onto the bench and gripped the weight handles, his knuckles whitening as he counted to ten.
She sat beside him and smiled at his profile. "Tough day?"
"Hmmm?" He looked up; she'd changed damn quickly! "I suppose I should expect it, they use this place as a pick up joint. Just once, I'd like to meet someone who wants to workout!" He pulled on the handles in frustration and the counterweight shot up.
"Teach me." She purred softly. He stared at her wondering how he could have heard her over the noise in the Gym. He smiled and knelt beside her, explaining muscle groups and how each co-operated with the other, then went on to nutrition and percentage of body fat and how many repetitions were required...
She listened intently and asked questions to obtain more information, he became animated in his conversation, and soon the rest of the world faded away as they got to know each other.
Grey One drifted across the room to study the bank of screens. His wide mouth parted in the alien equivalent of a smile. The chosen one had potential, Cathy liked him and that suited their purpose.
The Watchers had always had the upper hand throughout the centuries. No sooner had the Hunters wiped out a settlement, than a new one would spring up. The Watcher Hunters then needed to return to the Greys compound to renew and reanimate. They had fought a losing battle for close on a thousand years and were still no closer to repaying their debt to the demons that helped them when first they arrived on the Earth. Grey One glided to the tapestry on the wall and ran his six-fingered hand across the ancient canvas.
The genetic Cache, carefully preserved in their flight from a decaying planet and the knowledge they were willing to share with their new adopted home, the Watchers chose to destroy and in the blink of an eye, their culture was gone. Well, not all gone, but divided, fragmented between three Greys. The Grey society was so ordered that if one Grey fell in battle or was murdered, then all would suffer the same fate.
Such was the destiny of a society of clones.
On Cathy's return, the Greys had a request; they needed some genetic material from the chosen one for a cloning experiment. Cathy stared at the manifest in her hands; the request was for a sample of semen. She held her expression steady as Grey One asked her if the task were possible.
"It is not impossible, I had hoped I would have more time before becoming intimate with Dominic." She cursed her use of his name; she wanted Dom to herself for just a little while longer.
Her master smiled the smile that made her flesh crawl, the one that haunted her nightmares when he had been the one to press the Beelzebub thorns into her feet.
"The sooner you bring us the sample, the sooner we can manufacture the poison to feign his death and leave the clone in his place. Then we shall have our "New Watcher Hunters" and we shall be able to wipe out the cursed Watchers Council once and for all."
Dom thrashed beneath his covers as he dreamt of his leather-clad goddess. Cathy haunted his days and nights with her presence. In the gym, he worked with her daily. Her body was so in tune with his own that, he almost felt part of her and that she was part of him.. They completed each other and it seemed he only knew peace when in her company.
He growled in his sleep and threw his leg out of the covers completely. He sighed as he felt a leather gloved hand glide over his heated skin enveloping his raging cock in a warmed leather embrace. His hips jerked in time with the motions of her fist and his head rolled on his pillow. The pale moonlight glinted off his newly pierced eyebrow, his hair was cut how she liked it and it gave his formerly "baby face" a hard edge.
His ragged breath echoed loudly in the bare room. His hands shoved the covers down past his hips and he tried to wake to see Cathy sucking him to climax, but his eyes refused to open. His breath caught in his throat and his fingers tangled in her hair, holding her fast to him.
Cathy fondled his balls and continued in her task, test tube at the ready. Dom came with a roar and a flood of cum and she hugged him close unable to quite relinquish her hold on him to please her masters with a "sample". She maintained her grip all the way to his cock head, and then quickly with a couple of strokes, the Greys had their DNA but she'd had the best of it!
Dom slipped his hands from her hair and slept as the dead. Cathy turned and inspected the half filled test tube in the moonlight. The light faded and Grey two stood before her, his six-fingered hand outstretched for his prize.
Cathy placed the tube in Grey two's palm. "You are quite accomplished at that, a pity we Greys have no need for your talent..."
She smiled until he faded from sight then made a wanking gesture in the air and turned back to her lover.
Dominic slept peacefully, she changed and slipped naked into the bed next to him, he kissed her shoulder as he snaked an arm around her, hiking up the covers with his other hand.
Grey two glided through the metal tunnels of the Grey stronghold passing by subordinates on his way to Grey three's lab. He held in his palm their salvation or disaster for their race. He tried not to dwell on Grey one's theories of a prophecy ripening in their midst.
Grey three greeted him and together they carefully prepared the specimen for cloning. The room contained three glass sarcophagi, two awaiting occupants. With the addition of the male clone, the Greys would have a backup team should something happen to the originals.
These clones were unencumbered by colour thorns so were deadly and ruthless assassins. Grey two smiled at the progress, the bodies grew before his eyes, encased in their incubators, a single view screen monitored life signs. They need only reach physical maturity with one its sole purpose being to die in place of the original. The second incubator held Dom's "enhanced " clone with boosted strength, endurance and aggression added to its psyche, this one would be a cruel killing machine, just as Cathy's clone was.
Grey two hadn't told Grey one of the back-up plans, if the rumours of the prophecy proved true. The offspring of the Watcher with a Slaying team would be an immortal hybrid who would bring about the end of demons on the Earth and the plague of humankind would spread and fester in goodness and peace. The Watcher Hunter clones would destroy the Watcher and his mate to prevent them from having progeny.
Grey two shuddered and glanced back at the naked form of Dominic Thorn. He tapped the glass, Dom's eyes snapped open, and he took his first conscious breath of the heady super enriched atmosphere of the Greys stronghold.
Dom's eyes opened sleepily and his palm slid over the warm sheet beside him. He woke properly and scanned the room for Cathy. No clothes. Without a doubt she was the tidiest woman he'd ever known! However passionate they became she always had time to put her clothes away...
He heard the shower burst into life and smiled devilishly, leaping from the bed he padded stealthily into the bathroom and parted the curtain.
"Morning Dom..." Cathy smiled as she felt his disappointment at being discovered so soon. He sighed and stepped into the bath behind her.
"Mmm, you smell so good, Cath, Y'know I really need to... uhmm..." He backed her onto the tiled wall and held her hands pinned above her head. She shuddered as he advanced, his warm, hard, toned body pressed insistently into her own.
The hot shower streamed in steaming rivulets down the planes of his chest and rigid abs to his glorious cock, straining at attention. Her knees buckled and she struggled futilely before he claimed her breasts with his mouth, he relinquished his grip on her hands as he snaked one strong arm round her waist, lifting her until she slid down on his rod, impaling her body in an impassioned love locked fuck.
Cathy growled as his cock entered her and held his head to her breast with one tender hand whilst raking her nails down his back from shoulders to hipbone with the other. Dom tensed and bit her nipple, she gasped and he lifted his head, his dark emerald rimmed eyes sought hers and she lifted her thigh to curl it around his strong back. He groaned and lunged into her deeper, forcing her shoulders onto the tile, he grabbed her other leg and she locked her legs round his waist.
He bent his head once more to her breast and traced the gentle upturned curve with his tongue and teeth, his eyes never left hers, testing and discovering what turned her on. His right hand closed around her neck and he held her gently while his hips powered his cock into her, his breath ragged with exertion and indescribable pleasure.
Their bodies moved as one, striving for release, she driving downward meeting his strokes with tightening sinews. He tensed and coiled open to all stimuli. He threw back his head and clawed over her breast as she came, her legs tightened around his spine and he drove into her desperately, thumping her back against the wall, at last he roared and gripped hip and shoulder forcing her down on his exploding cock. At the very last moment they kissed and the tenderness of the act washed over them both, cleansing them and providing a soothing balm to the savage beast aroused when they made love.
He stared at the paperwork on his desk. Stephanie had deposited his post and coffee on his desk half an hour ago. He showed no interest in either.
Cathy had gone somewhere on business for a few days and he missed her. He spent his nights in the gym working up a sweat and his days in the office dreaming of her.
"Dominic? " Stephanie stepped through the doorway and stood awkwardly on the threshold.
He turned his stony glare of disinterest at her. She swallowed her fear.
"There's some trouble in the gym... some Mafia types are downstairs-" She didn't have to say anymore. Dom leapt over his desk and flew down the stairs.
He quickly scanned the floor of the gym and located the "gentlemen" they wore bulky suits and were testing the machines in said suits. The rest of his clientele were in the juice bar-very sensible.
"I'm Dominic, the owner. Can I help you with something?" He decided on the nice approach first.
One man turned at his voice, he looked anonymous, and he probably paid someone a great deal of money to look anonymous. His voice betrayed his origins, having a gravel-like quality of one who has had too many punches to his throat.
"Dominic... I would like to make you a business proposition..."
Dom, smiled and shook his head, he turned to leave but found a meaty hand on his chest. He looked the Neanderthal in the eye and clobbered him with a dumbbell that rested beneath his fingertips.
He dropped in a split to avoid a roundhouse blow and then spun the dumbbell along the ground at the crowd of men surrounding "Mr.Big"
The Neanderthal grabbed Dom's foot so he kicked him in the groin sending him howling to the ground in pain. He sprang to his feet ready for his next opponent.
Three lined up against him with drawn weapons. He drew a sharp breath and executed a spinning kick that disarmed all his adversaries. His foot remained extended as he pivoted slowly; he flexed his knee and booted "Mr.Big" in the chest.
"As I believe I told you, I am the owner and can refuse entry to anyone I please." He locked gazes with the sweating man. "Take you proposition elsewhere." He shoved the man into the far wall, before he placed his foot on the floor and glared at the rest of the men, who scurried after their fallen boss and weapons.
The Boss halted at the threshold. "This isn't over, you'll be hearing from us some dark night..." He left the threat hanging. Dom walked into the juice bar for a drink, rolling his head on his shoulders trying to get rid of an annoying kink in a muscle.
Stephanie had watched all the moves Dom made. She'd never seen him so precise. It was a joy to see, but she still had the nagging feeling that something was wrong. He had changed since Cathy came on the scene, with her, he was a kitten, without her he was a Panther.
The next morning he prowled about the gym until he felt familiar warmth, he turned round and Cathy smiled at him embarrassed at being caught out. He loped toward her and lifted her from the ground spinning her in the middle of the weights. His arms were full, his heart light and her sweet lips were his again. Nothing mattered now. The world could go hang. He had Cathy back
Cathy sighed, enjoying his strong embrace. She knew she couldn't live without him now, but how could she betray him to the Greys? The cold vial of poison nestled in her pocket, Grey two had told her before she departed that he had to have the poison in his system for twenty-four hours before they took him with a final overdose. This was to be his last day as a human. She swallowed her tears.
"Cath? " he gazed into her eyes. "What's the matter, love? Why tears? "
She sniffed. " I missed you..." He smiled and her heart broke, she rested her head on his broad shoulder and wept. He hugged her close. Her thoughts came wild and sped madly through her mind.
He would never grow old; never know disease or hunger. He would remain young, vital and strong and they would be together forever.
She shook her head. In order to exist in the Grey universe he would have to die in this one. And he would remember with the coloured thorns all of his life before conversion. He would hate her forever.
She lifted her head from his shoulder and smiled weakly at him, stroking his silky dark hair, "Love Me? " she murmured.
"Always Darling..." He kissed her nose and led her up the steps to his bedroom.
Dom's hands closed on the leather binding his wrists to his bedposts. He lay on this stomach and sweat and blood vied for precedence on his back. Cathy towered above the bed in gleaming leather thigh boots and long black kid gloves. Her dark glittering eyes met his and he sighed as the soft, slick strands of her whip caressed his back.
"Turn Dom..." she whispered. He obeyed leaving go of his bonds and flicking his wrists free of his voluntary restraint. She smiled at his slight wince as his back hit the sheets.
She conjured a jade scarf from thin air and his grin got wider. "Time you didn't see what's coming..." she chuckled. She leaned forward and he brushed her nipples with a swipe of his tongue. He lifted his head for the blindfold and waited for instruction.
Her clothes melted away as she straddled his tumescent cock and rode him fast and hard. He fell into her rhythm, trying to slow her down but she wasn't to be slowed... She popped the lid on the vial as his mouth opened wide in desperate passion. She leaned forward dripping the contents of the vial into his mouth, at the same time her hand outstretched behind her to fondle his balls and massage her juices into them.
He swallowed all that she gave to him; it briefly stained his lips black before being absorbed into his tissues. His hands reached up to caress her back as he shot his seed into her. He would never see her tears at his loss of fertility. The poison robbed as well as bestowed.
Greys one, two and three watched the view screen as the scene unfolded. Soon they would have their Watcher Hunter team. Grey one held Grey two in his thrall for a second or two.
"You see? Friend, your fears are groundless. There will be no fulfilled prophecy. All is well." With a last gleeful glance at the screen, he glided out to prepare the Thorn room.
Grey two and three did not share Grey one's faith in Cathy, they watched as Dominic tied her hands behind her back and then eased his body between her clasped hands. When he was done, he had complete control over her. She knelt on the bed and he rested his knees on the bed frame either side of her knees. He ran his palms over her erect nipples keeping her balanced and with his back muscles. He slid into her tight steaming cunt and drove home as she arched her head back and exposing her throat for his kiss.
Cathy moaned and wailed as Dom fucked her deep, and long. He came again and bit her shoulder, drawing just a little blood. He sighed and suckled gently at the wound.
"Hmmm, never thought I'd have vampiric tendencies... you bring out the demon in me lover." Dom kissed her warm flesh and blinked as a wave of dizziness washed over him. He slid from her and watched from the bed as Cathy slipped her bonds and clothed herself using the thorns power.
Dom scooted away from her, his back hitting the wall and still she advanced on long leather-clad limbs. Her dark hair tumbled over her shoulders, an eyebrow arched menacingly. He stared at her lips, just a moment ago they were soft, ripe for kissing; now they curled upwards in a mocking, evil burgundy smile.
"At last you realise something's amiss?" Cathy loomed over Dom and whispered so the Greys couldn't hear " We're going on a journey, Dom. I've been training you... They're watching us. "
Dom looked puzzled, but then saw love and compassion in her clear brown eyes and was still. Cathy shifted her hair away from her face so he could see the faint red light in the corner of the room. His eyes flickered with anger and he grabbed her hair roughly, bringing his mouth to her ear.
"Where are we going? Will you be with me?" He kissed her ear lobe and she gasped at the heat of his lips. Soon he would expire for the first and only time.
"A place of long life, health, strength and vigor. I will be with you always, my darling Dom. " Cathy watched as a pallid Dom struggled to draw breath.
"When..." the question died on his lips and Cathy sealed his fate with a poisoned kiss.
"Now..." She checked for his pulse and felt none. She stooped to scoop up his dead body from the bed, a noise behind her alerted her to the arrival of Grey three and his clone.
She turned and saw Domclone readying a noose for his suicide. She glanced down at her Dom and clutched him tighter to her breast. She weaved past the impostor and strode through the wall to the Grey dimension, unwilling to witness her lover die a second time.
She excused herself to visit her cell and levered the silver thorns from her flesh, transferring them to her boot cuffs. The thorns imbued with her essence would guide Dom through the madness of the conversion process.
She strode alongside the metal table. Dom had been dead for four hours, but already his colour had improved because of the charged atmosphere of the Greys stronghold.
Once through the doors of the Thorn room, the antidote was given to him and he revived suddenly, fighting all the way. She followed and took up her position at the end of the thorn table. She tried to keep her emotions in check but Dom fought so hard!
With a pneumatic hiss the operation started. Her hand gripped the handle of the mallet she would use for her thorns.
The first thorn rooted and embedded. Dom's screams seemed endless. Grey two had paralysed him so he couldn't see the progress of the mechanical arm to his left foot...
Cathy waited as the thorn rooted and was driven home in one slick action. She stepped forward knowing she had only seconds to drive home her colour, to claim him as mate and trainee. Dom raged against his bonds both mental and physical, the physical ones gave way first.
Dom stared at Cathy as she placed the thorn and struck it home in one stroke. He roared and sat bolt upright and gripped her neck, the Greys in his head urged him to kill. It was imperative for him to kill their common enemy, though he didn't know who the "enemy" was.
Warmth flooded through his body and he remembered laughter and a sun filled meadow where he and Cathy had picnicked. He loosed his grip of her throat and crashed back down onto the stretcher, gripping its metal sides to control the pain.
Cathy hammered the second colour home and allowed herself a smile of triumph. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she heard Joseph applauding her.
Grey one entered the Thorn room and Cathy lowered her gaze respectfully. Grey one spared her a glance on his way to study Dom. "An excellent choice, Cathy and on time too. Now we have our Watcher Hunter team."
"She has claimed him as mate, with a colour thorn" Grey two snidely informed Grey one.
Grey one shot a disapproving look at Cathy, but still smiled and gave the alien equivalent of a shrug. "Tis done cannot be undone."
Dom shivered on the floor of the cold grey cell, the furniture lay in a crushed heap in the far corner. His feet hurt and he curled round hugging his body shuddering. He thought of Cathy trying to conjure up warmth where there was none.
He shot up straight at the sound of the door opening. He swallowed his distaste at the appearance of his captors. The slurred words he had yet to learn to understand. He recognised one word-Pain. He staggered to his feet and bit back the agony of his thorned feet, stooping to try to control it.
Someone else entered the room; he smelt Cathy's perfume and shuffled to the corner resting his warm forehead on the cool wall. The Grey left and Cathy remained. He heard her approach and his heart beat faster, remembering another time when she'd first worn heels.
"Trainee!" She shouted and he snapped his head round to face her. He registered her shock at his appearance then her face-hardened and a whip appeared in her hand, the tip cracking at his ankles.
"Walk!" Dom didn't move. Cathy cracked the whip again, this time licking and slicing the flesh from his calves. He fell to his knees and yelled.
"Rise! Are you a child who needs to be taught everything? Do you need to be watched at every turn?" Cathy stood before him and stared just over his head. His shoulders slumped in defeat, then he realised what she had said. She was doing this because they were being watched again? He looked up into her eyes.
"I am a child mistress, teach me so I don't have to be watched." He held her gaze for agonised seconds before the whip disappeared and she joined him on the floor in floods of tears.
"Dom! Are you alright? I'm sorry... so sorry. I had to have a partner and..." Cathy sobbed.
Dom stretched out his hand and stroked her hair, his eyes closing in relief as he touched her once more. He'd been afraid that this was his personal Hell. He lifted her trembling chin and smiled, the soft loving woman he knew trembled and fought for composure.
"Dom, we...we don't have much time. You've been changed, you're like me now, and I have to teach you to walk. Trust me?" She pleaded.
He nodded his mind awhirl of a hundred questions. He got to his feet shakily and winced as his ragged, wounded feet shuffled forward.
"Hands on the wall, and lift your foot." She instructed. He did as he was told; Cathy applied a layer of soothing balm to his feet and then turned him round. "First lesson. On the way to healing yourself Dom. Concentrate on the thorns and clothe yourself."
Dom looked at her strangely, then closed his eyes, and summoned clothes. He felt them on his skin and opened his eyes again.
Cathy was very close." Perfect..." she purred in his ear. He smiled to himself, he felt much better now his feet were inside boots. He stood and tried a couple of paces. Cathy smiled but Dom looked past her assuming a submissive posture.
Her head snapped round and saw Grey two in the doorway.
"You've been relieved. He's mine." Grey two glided into the cell, with a sweep of his hand he repaired the furniture, and placed a naked struggling Dom on a rack in the centre of the room. Cathy was driven back by the Greys force of will and could only watch horrified as Grey two employed a laser-whip to instill obedience in Dom.
Grey one led her away; she hid her face in her hands as Dom's screams pierced the silence. "CATH? Cathy...PLEASE!" His scream chillingly cut off when the doors slid shut behind them.
Grey one was talking to her. "...Too close Cathy. You have a nice long rest and we'll call you with your new assignment and a brand new obedient Dom, how about that?" Grey one smiled his "flesh crawling" smile and dialed the security lock on her chamber for three months; she stepped in and fell asleep.
Cathy reported to the briefing room. Her heart leapt into her throat. Dom was there, tall, strong, and powerful. She smiled a greeting and he ignored her. Her heart sank, how long had they kept her under?
Dom glanced over the mission notes, by rights Grey two should have been there to bask in the reflected glory of a well-trained Watcher Hunter, but he and all of his section had mysteriously disappeared.
"Dom and Cathy together at last. " Grey one sounded almost content. "Your mission is to find Ethan Rayne, he will lead you to your primary target, the Watcher. Any other havoc you can wreak I leave to your discretion. Dom you're beta in this mission, Cathy you're alpha. I know it's a chore Dom but you'll just have to follow Cathy's lead."
Cathy maintained a passive exterior whilst her insides revolved, what happened to Dom while she slept? What did Grey two do to him?
Dom thrust the mission details into her hands and stood at ease until Grey one left the room. She lifted her hand and Dom stepped back giving her a hate filled glare.
"We're going to Sunnydale, home of Demons and one Slayer. "
She folded the papers and secured them into the long zipped pocket of her trouser leg. She straightened and Dom snapped to attention, she shook her head sadly and marched off through the wall...
The hunters arrived in the alley behind the bronze. They walked apart, sniffing the air. The one they sought was near. They entered the Bronze and found the music loud and the atmosphere smoky. They glanced at each other and split, approaching their prey from opposite sides.
"Take it or leave it. It's a fair price." Ethan was bartering with a half demon with a penchant for glittery things. The demon looked to left and right behind Ethan and disappeared in a puff of smoke. Ethan gritted his teeth in annoyance cancelling the glamour spell on the base metal bauble in his hands. He turned on those who had frightened his customer off.
"You cost me a," his voice tailed off as his eyes focused on the couple in leather. One of each, his favourite combination. He smirked.
"Hello..." He purred. "My compliments to your tailor. What can I do you for?" He looked from one to the other as they each took an arm, lifting him from the floor and propelled him out of the back door.
"Ripper sent you didn't he?" He muttered
Together they threw him back. Ethan hit the brick wall, hard. Pain racked his body. He barely landed on his feet. Although the woman halted in the doorway, the man continued his menacing advance.
"Now, see-" Ethan's protest was cut off by a punch to his solar plexus. The blow was directed upwards and with such force that Ethan was lifted off his feet and back into the wall.
Before Ethan slumped, the man spun ninety degrees and kicked his lowered chin. Ethan's head crashed against the wall his attacker's foot holding him there.
The fighter dropped his leg at the woman's silent command and replaced it with a powerful right hand. He increased the pressure, and with an impressive display of power, lifted him until Ethan's feet dangled just above the ground. He held him up effortlessly. He moved a pace back allowing the woman access to question Ethan, his hand slowly exerting pressure on Ethan's throat choking him. He struggled, but to no avail, black spots forming in front of his eyes. The woman spoke, deliberately slow.
"Where can we find Rupert Giles?" The pressure lessened, Ethan gasped for air "What?" He stalled. The man ground harder into his throat, before lessening the pressure once more so, he could speak.
"Where can we find the Watcher?" The woman inquired. Ethan stared into her eyes. "Go to hell!"
The man released him abruptly and Ethan fell to his knees rubbing his sore throat. The man scissored his legs. One foot catching Ethan hard on the back of his skull, slamming him down. When Ethan tried to get up the man's foot pressed down, cracking his head on the ground.
"Enough!" The woman's command halted Ethan's punishment.
He kicked Ethan one last time before pulling him up by his hair. The man held him steady, while she produced a small black gun. She pressed it against Ethan's chest and fired. His body jerked with a sudden, searing pain.
Then he was airborne again. Ethan landed awkwardly on his damaged ribs. He thought of Ripper as he staggered to his feet and despite his injuries started to run.
Ethan lurched down the street from lamppost to lamppost, pausing to heave in a breath, allowing his eyes to focus on a familiar building. He half fell down the steps and hammered on the door.
"Ripper!" He shouted ignoring the grate of his broken ribs. He braced his body against the doorjamb and waited for the door to open. He felt the cloak of unconsciousness dropping over him.
Rupert hastily dragged on his robe, "This had better be good..." Rupert said through clenched teeth. He opened the door and Ethan tumbled unceremoniously to the floor. "Willow, get the kit." She nodded and hurried to the kitchen.
"What happened to you?" Rupert murmured to himself as he surveyed his friend's injuries. He found something just under Ethan's skin and touched it. "Not a bullet..." he pondered to himself. " It looks like a thorn." Ethan stirred as a semi clad Willow knelt beside him with a bowl and bandages.
"Willow, my dear, a sight for sore eyes..." Even severe injuries did not prevent him from noticing the turn of a shapely ankle or the upturn of a youthful breast. Willow blushed under the attentive gaze of the older man, her fingers fumbled self-consciously at her hastily refastened robe.
"What did you do this time, Ethan?" Rupert's tone was accusing but not life threatening.
"Nothing." He wheezed. "Two leather-clad terrorists jumped me at the Bronze. They were looking for you."
He smiled as Willow cleaned off the blood on his face. He felt Ripper staring at him. "They wanted me to tell them where you lived. I didn't. So after the man kicked the shit out of me the woman shot me ... they went...don't know where."
"What kind of weapon was it?" Rupert asked as he crossed to the bookshelf and searched for a particular volume. Ethan eased himself down into the sofa.
"Oh, it was a gun..." He winced and Willow was beside him again with the washcloth. He took it from her and dabbed at the blood that trickled from his mouth. She was about to tell Giles that Ethan was seriously hurt but he stopped her shaking his head. "Nose in a book again Rupert? Is it going to help?" He asked jovially.
"Aha! Yes, look." He passed the book to Ethan. The page was illustrated the picture showing a couple in hunting garb leaving a burning village.
"Sorry Ripper love, my Latin's not what it was, care to elucidate?"
Rupert scowled good-humouredly. "You never studied." He muttered, "It says here that in the Middle Ages a Watcher settlement was razed to the ground by two hunters sent by Beelzebub to destroy the Watchers Council of the day. These two had amazing strength and destroyed the settlement by merely linking their hands." He closed the book and placed it on his desk.
"Willow," he asked quietly. She looked up she didn't like it when he used that tone. "Is there anyone outside the house?" She left the sofa and peeked out of the window.
She saw the couple that Ethan had described. They were standing side be side watching the house. "Yes, it's them."
"Shit!" Ripper exclaimed. "Willow get dressed. Then get the books on..." He thought for a second and reeled off a list of titles. She nodded and set to her tasks. "Ethan? Watch them, tell us if they move." His friend sighed as he hobbled to the window to take up his vigil.
Giles raced upstairs to get dressed; he had no idea how much time they had before the hunters would strike.
"They're moving together Ripper..." Ethan warned. Giles nodded and grabbed the bag of books from his desk.
"Come on," He motioned them to follow "Hurry! They're getting ready!" Giles and Willow supported Ethan between them as they ran unsteadily from the house as though the Hounds of Hell were on their heels.
"Where are we going?" Willow gasped.
"Xander's" Rupert threw over his shoulder. They were out of the house and away down the street when it exploded.
The man looked into the distance and saw three figures running away. He felt her hands close over his. He glared at her with open hostility. Their hands clasped long enough to destroy the Watcher's home but no longer. He broke contact first roughly casting aside her comforting fingers. Green eyes locked on brown ones; the former filled with hatred and pain, the latter with love and desire.
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